High School Alum Features

High School Alum Features
Posted on 09/30/2021

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Meet CHS Alumna Kenyetta Fears

In honor of Central High School’s Homecoming, we recently caught up with Kenyetta Fears. Kenyetta’s athletic accomplishments (see bottom of the page) are many and she was recently inducted into the Central High School Hall of Fame. Kenyetta attended Hawthorne Elementary and Lakewood Middle schools before graduating from Central High School in 1994.

What are you doing now?

I currently work as a social worker in child welfare for the city and county in Denver, Colorado. I’ve worked in Social Services for over eighteen years in the fields of probation, mental health and public education. I have a passion for empowering families faced with challenges and inspiring intrinsic change. My career has afforded me the ability to focus on making lasting and positive impacts in the community in which I’m highly grateful. I’m mom to a 23-year-old son, a 12-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old Peekapoo named Prince.

Who were influential in your younger years at school?

Mr. Ardrey was an awesome elementary Physical Education teacher who pushed me to my physical potential each time he had the chance to do so with that rigorous physical fitness testing back in the 80s. The expectation that I received from Mr. Ardrey was simply, “You can do it.”  Such an expectation can go a long way in a child’s life.

Mr. Ardrey spoke with my mother and expressed to her that I was pretty speedy and recommended that she sign me up for the Salina Track Club in which she did.  Salina Track Club was the start of my track career.  My mother told me that I needed to make a choice between Track and Gymnastics, and I chose Track and Field. 

I want to add that I also had a teacher named, Mrs. Millie Moye, who was also a long-time teacher of Hawthorne Elementary, who wouldn’t allow us to use “ain’t or can’t.” Her focus was always on what you can do and not what you didn’t want to do or thought you couldn’t do.

I was very blessed to be supported by a loving mother who was able to take notice of all of my abilities.  My mother put me in many activities being that I was a very active child. My mother put me dance in which I learned Jazz, Karate and in competitive gymnastics at the YMCA. My mother also saw fit to put me in piano lessons after she saw my interest in playing the violin (shout out to Ms. Susan Higbee, Orchestra Teacher).

What advice would you want to share with high school students now?  

Identify a school staff member that can provide you real mentorship as you proceed through high school. Nourish relationships and friendships with individuals that have future goals in which they are working towards. Understand that everyone’s journey or path in life is not the same but with focus and determination you will accomplish whatever goals you have set forth. It’s okay to be imperfect and remember to set the standard for yourself. If you have parents, listen to them but know that one day, you will be on your own and will have to stand on your own and make choices in life without them. Take this time to grow and glow and enjoy becoming you.

What did you like most about your time at Central High School?

Participating in sports along with my teammates and attending the football and basketball games. It has always been fulfilling to know that I left a mark in Central Sports History during a short period, although I wasn’t thinking about what history would look like when I was a young athlete so many years ago. Salina is my home in which I have many fond memories.

I always had coaches that pushed and encouraged me as a student athlete. If anything, skills that I’ve gained as an athlete gave me the confidence to push through whatever challenges life has presented or presents. I loved to compete as a Mustang and truly enjoyed being coached by every one of my coaches.

What might surprise people about you?

I still love to take on a good water slide. No room for roller coasters in my life anymore, only waterslides.

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Meet SHS Alumna Jamie Bosse

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In honor of South High School’s Homecoming, we recently caught up with Jamie Bosse. Jamie is a financial planner who recently published her second and third books about money. She attended Stewart Elementary School and South Middle School before graduating from South High School (SHS).

A fun fact is that Jamie was the SHS Homecoming Queen for the 1999-2000 school year. You may be surprised to learn that Jamie signed up for her first credit card to receive a free t-shirt that said “college” on it. She explained, “I had just turned 18 and they were handing out credit cards at the student union for free t-shirts. Note – a free t-shirt is NOT a good reason to get a credit card! I learned a lot of financial lessons the hard way and that is what drives me to educate others so that they don’t make the same mistakes that I did.”

How did your school years in USD 305 prepare you for adult life?

USD 305 played a huge role in my upbringing. I think K-12 education really teaches you some of the basics of life – how to learn, teamwork, critical thinking, punctuality, and how to get along with others. I graduated in the class of 2000. I was involved in volleyball and the Pepper Squad at school and played softball in a rec league.

I had a part-time job at Dillon’s during high school, so I had to learn how to manage my time at an early age. I was balancing work with school and extracurricular activities. I think this helped prepare me for college life at Kansas State.

Why is it important for families to help their children learn about money?

I find that many young kids today really have no concept of money or how it works.

They see mom and dad swiping a card at Target or pushing a button on their phone and Amazon boxes full of stuff just magically appears on the doorstep. It’s not just kids that have trouble understanding how to handle money.

Being in the financial industry, I am reminded daily of how financially troubled our society is. Tons of credit card debt, millions of families just scraping by and living paycheck to paycheck trying to make ends meet. Even families with six-figure incomes have trouble managing a monthly budget and being prepared for emergencies. I believe that this situation can be helped in some small degree by education and starting more conversations about money early on.

Many young adults end up making choices in their 20s that cost them big-time and affect their financial lives well into the future. I want to help start educating kids about money at an early age with the help of Milton the Money Savvy Pup. If Milton can help instill some basic financial knowledge and money management skills that can transfer into adulthood, then society as a whole will be better off.

What financial advice would you want to share with high school students now?

Start looking at your expenses, even if you are not the one who pays them. How much does it cost to have cell phone service? A Netflix account? Health insurance? Car insurance? Rent? Clothing? Many young adults go into college not knowing how much their lifestyle actually costs and that can hurt them in the future when they are managing these expenses on their own. 

The habits you develop now are likely the ones that will stick with you into adulthood. If you understand delayed gratification and are able to save some of the money you earn as a teen, you will likely have more control of your money as an adult. If you have bad money and spending habits, the sooner you change them the better. If you earn money or receive money as gifts, get in the habit of saving 10% of it instead of spending it all. It is good to have extra funds available when life’s inevitable emergencies come up.

As a professional and as a mom, how can parents make learning about money fun for their children?

Like sponges, kids are eager to soak up information. They want to feel like they are doing important things and making “big” decisions. By teaching them about money, you are teaching them the lessons of delayed gratification, patience, and autonomy – skills they will need in the real world. 

You can use allowance as a teaching tool. It can be tied to chores, or simply a way to help them make their own decisions. I like the idea of tying pay to chores and that is how we use it in my household. The kids each have a set of jars labeled “Give” “Save” and “Spend.” When they are paid each week, they put some money into each jar. When we go places, they can choose to bring their money along and buy something if they wish. Sometimes, they really enjoy their purchase and get a lot of use out of it. In that case, they are proud of their decision and feel like they earned something special. When they are not as pleased with their purchase, they are more careful and critical when they go shopping next time.

It sounds backwards, but you have to let kids “fail” sometimes so they learn valuable lessons. The more opportunities you give them to make decisions around money, the more practice they get and the more they learn from the lessons. It’s important to experience this learning when they are young when the stakes are lower as opposed to when they are no longer under your roof and face real life consequences.

Like with most things, the sooner you start the better. If you can ingrain a behavior early on, the better it will stick. Kids who grow up with a good education around money with healthy habits will grow into adults who are less likely to get stuck in a dangerous debt cycle, are better prepared for emergencies, and have the surplus to give to charity and support their communities.


Books by Jamie Bosse

Milton the Money Savvy Pup, Brings Home the Bacon

Milton the Money Savvy Pup, Makes Saving a Habit

Money Boss Mom, Helping Young Parents Be the “Boss” of Their Financial Future